This weekend sees a really cool concept come the way of Brighton’s own Riptide Wrestling.
Riptide has been at the forefront of independent wrestling ever since it’s inception in 2017. Beautiful, cinematic events with progressive, long-form storytelling which highlights British wrestling’s bright young things. It has become a destination for British Wrestling fans. They also had Dave Benson Phillips wrestle there. I don’t need to say anything else, that should sell it on it’s own.
They have had a Brighton Champion for over a year now in the form of Chuck Mambo. With it’s intergender roster, many have been wondering what a secondary title will be in this company. Well wonder no more as on Sunday an eight person tournament will commence to crown ‘The Pride of Brighton’.
Now this is not your normal midcard title. This has some interesting rules that make it stand out:
- Participants must be under 25 years old or under 205 pounds in weight.
- The Pride of Brighton will then be required to defend the title for a whole year, up until the next Pride of Brighton tournament; whoever the Pride of Brighton champion is will crown the next ‘Pride of Brighton’ tournament winner.
- The outgoing Pride of Brighton champion will then become the automatic number one contender to the Brighton Champion.
Pretty cool right?
It’s part Natural Progression Series, part Money In The Bank and part Gift Of The Gods from Lucha Underground. In a world of junior heavyweight titles and television titles, it’s a refreshing change of pace.
But who will be contending for the gold this Sunday on the South coast? Let’s take a look at the field of eight and what they will bring to the table.
A product of the ProJo and IPW:UK training schools respectively, she spent her formative years struggling to find her feet in certain promotions. One of the names in PROGRESS’ female wrestling expansion and a member of Jinny’s ‘House of Couture’, she found her home in Riptide where she has fitted like a glove as the tag partner of Paul Robinson. Her and Robinson had a fantastic (if sadly cut short) feud with Jinny and Jimmy Havoc which really let her shine as an absolute psychopath – fitting perfectly with Paul Robinson if we’re honest. Now she’s been given a chance to strike out on her own and show that the hard hitter from Seven Sisters is a force to be reckoned with in the singles division.
If there was someone that should have been in Riptide from the moment they had the chance to, it’s Cassius. ‘The Neon Explosion’ is a bright ball of fluorescent energy who cannot help putting a smile on your face. For me, he is one of the next big cult superstars of British Wrestling. Trained at Lucha Britannia, his wrestling style matches his ring gear; flashy, flamboyant and attention grabbing. He made his debut in the Riptide Rumble and captured the imagination of the entire audience. He is my dark horse for this; it just makes sense to have him become one of the faces of Riptide, especially considering their current hero is sidelined with injury.
A mat wrestling machine from the Knucklelocks gym, Breaks had been quietly going about his business in 2018 but has already made a huge impact in 2019 – wrestling on the Day 1 Super Strong Style pre-show, working in Frontline and making a name for himself in promotions all around the South of England. But if you’re true to Riptide, you knew how good Breaks is. He has been putting on masterclasses against Kurtis Chapman, Lord Gideon Grey and Spike Trivet to really move his way up the card. Remember the name, because I have a feeling that he’ll be Naturally Progressing sooner rather than later (see what I did there?)
We have a bit of a bias here with Connor Mills as he is a friend and training partner with one of our esteemed colleagues. But don’t let that get in the way of the fact that Mills is up near the top of ‘next breakout stars’ in the British wrestling scene. Bursting out onto PROGRESS Wrestling main cards with his tag partner Maverick Mayhew, these two actually gained national notority for facing one another in an NPS qualifier in 2018. Since then, Mills has been killing in singles competition for Attack, Battle Pro, IWL and loads of independents across the UK. A gifted high flyer mixed with hard hitting strong style, he is going to go places. Maybe ‘The Pride of Brighton’ is the place to start.
The fleeky one is probably the third biggest star in Riptide at the current time, and considering the other two are the Brighton Champion and the ‘ace’ of the promotion in Jack Sexsmith, that says a lot about this candy-coloured submission specialist. One of the most recognizable stars in British wrestling has multiple tours of Japan under her belt and wrestled some of the biggest female stars on this planet. However, Riptide is where she has really been able to shine against all genders. Superb matches against Spike Trivet and TK Cooper and a starmaking performance against Mercedes Martinez have boosted her star power in Riptide massively.
For my money, the odds on favourite to win it all,
Here’s an interesting one.
The former crooked official now overexcited lackey of Money vs Everybody hasn’t had a lot of wrestling experience in Riptide but in another promotion, he is making big waves. Purser, or should I say M Shay Ultra has found himself as the biggest bad guy in Attack Pro Wrestling, who have a working relationship with Riptide. Purser is somewhat of a cult hero in British wrestling (I mean anyone who uses Creed’s ‘My Sacrifice’ on the way to the ring will become that) but I don’t think this is his time. But, Money vs Everything can often leave the card subject to change, so who knows?
Remember the name because by year’s end, you’ll be hearing it everywhere.
The OJMO has had a stop/start run to his career thanks to injury but he is back and better than ever. He has been killing it in every promotion he’s been in; from graduating from a Contender to a main roster star in RevPro, a tremendous heel run in Battle Pro and a fantastic return to PROGRESS at Ally Pally and his star is set to rise even more over the rest of 2019. He’s making the final, no question. I have picked someone else as my favourite but I would not upset at all if when it’s all said and done we are all saying ‘now, he’s champ’.
If Spike Trivet didn’t exist (what a wonderful world that would be) then ‘The Keyboard Warrior’ would be the most hated guy in Riptide. Bottom line; he’s just a dick. Alongside Lord Gideon Grey, somehow he’s the least likeable. However, he is a very crafty wrestler. A former RevPro British Cruiserweight Champion, he has championship experience and as regular ‘Rippers’ will be aware, he has an annoying knack for pulling victory from the jaws of defeat.
Alongside all of this, we have a host of non-tournament action. Cara Noir will face off against Paul Robinson in a match where two men will actively try to beat each others faces off of their heads, an Attack Pro Wrestling guest match where Chris Brookes will reveal the replacement for Kid Lykos (my money is on Jeff Jarrett) and a match where our favourite person Sugar Dunkerton teams with the amazing ‘Sexual Gammon’ Gene Munny to combat The Anti-Fun Police in a match that will negate the mantra of Chief Deputy Dunne and Los Federales Santos completely.
If you can get down to Brighton this Sunday, please go. A day by the seaside, some chips on the seafront, some wrestling then a chilled train journey home? Sounds pretty sick to me.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @MattyID. Thanks for reading!